Category Archives: Anal Gland Problems

Anal gland problems


Anal glands may become impacted, infected, abscessed or cancerous. Failure of the glands to express during defecation and poor anal or rectal muscle tone leads to retention of the anal gland contents. Such retention may predispose to fermentation, inflammation, anal and/or colonic cancer and secondary bacterial infection.

Clinical findings are related to pain and discomfort associated with sitting. Scooting, licking, biting at the anal area and abdomen, tail chasing, painful defaecation with straining are also common. Sometimes these signs can be mis-interpreted as a worm problem. In impaction, hard masses are palpable in the areas of the glands around the anus. The glands are packed with a thick, pasty, brown puss like secretion, which can be expressed with large amount of pressure. When the glands are infected or abscessed, severe pain and often discolouration of the area are present. Allowing this problem to persist without treatment can lead to anal tumours or cancer of the colon.

Fortunately this condition can be helped by feeding your pet a high fibre diet from the puppy stage. Although this type of diet may not be as palatable as tinned food, perseverance will pay off in the longer term with a healthier, less problematic life for you and your pet. The reason behind a high fibre diet for your pet is that it allows for the roughage to form a large, solid, bulky motion from beginning to end thus providing the stimulation of the anal gland region during defaecation.

NB: We strongly discourage the feeding of tinned food/convenience foods to your pet.

Remember, the way you start out with your pet will be the way that you continue and will determine your pets overall development.